I was thrilled this month that A Claxton Diary was awarded the East Anglian Book Award for 2019, both in its category of general non-fiction and as overall Book of the Year. Sady I had two long-standing commitments to events in Derbyshire and Warwickshire and wasn’t able to attend in person, but Maria was able to go on my behalf.This was my fourth such nomination for the prize, having been shortlisted earlier for Crow Country (2008), Birds and People (2013), and Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet (2014). It was deeply gratifying to have won it this time. The citation from judge Christine Webber was exceptionally generous. Here‘s a little of what she and fellow judge Penny Hancock said. Christine listed some of her favourites, but two of mine are here.
On the 5 December 2019 at the Linnaean Society in London, four friends and I (second left to right, they are Helen Smith, MC, Caroline Lucas, Jeremy Mynott, Patrick Barkham, and MEP Ellie Chowns) launched with the Green Party a report on how to restore nature in this country. A New Deal for Nature covers over 80 action points and outlines how nature could be brought back into the centre of British life. As I said at the launch ‘we don’t believe for one moment that it is the last word on the future of nature. But we hope that it is a start: a way of thinking hereafter about life in these islands and about what has to change.’